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Family seeks Butt's body remains

Another petition to Kalam is urging him to handover remains of JKLF founder Maqbool Butt, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 17:46 IST
Arun Joshi

At a time when PresidentAPJ Kalam has a mercy petition of Afzal Guru sent to him by his family, yet another petition is about to land on his table urging him to ask the Central Government to handover theremains of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Maqbool Butt to his family for the final rites as per religious and cultural traditions.

Maqbool Butt, who was charged with killing a CID official, was hangedin Tihar Jail onFebruary 11, 1984. A numberof groups in Kashmir hadtraced thebirth of terrorism in theValley to the hanging ofButt. Among thosevoices was that ofNational Conference patron andformer Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The Maqbool ButtFoundation has launched a signaturecampaign across the Valley forthe return of the remains of the JKLF founder.

The petition up for signatures says, ”We, the people and the civil society of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, express our anguish and concern over the denial of rights of people of Jammu Kashmir to obtain the possession of the remains of their fellow subject of the state, Maqbool Butt to bury according to their own cultural and religious tradition.”

The petition gives a posthumoustwist to the whole case against Butt.It says that Butt was "killed by hanging on February 11, 1984 in Tihar jail, Delhi as the consequence of retaliation expressed by that time Indian regime. He was hanged to take the revenge of the killing of an Indian diplomat by some unknown organization claiming to be Kashmiri."

It is a clear bid by the sponsors of the petition todisassociateMaqbool Butt from the crime for which he was convicted and hanged. It says that it was "an act of shame for a country called India. Even after his death, his body was not handed over to his family and people, rather buried in Tihar Jail."

A grave is already lying vacant – reserved for him- ata graveyard in Eidgah in the summer capital of Srinagar, where a majority of the terrorist leadersare buried.

The copy of the petition has also been sent to the UN Secretary General for his intervention in the matter.